Sunday Food: proper crumpets

“in the tapestry of childhood, what stands out is not the splashy, blow-out trips to Disneyland, but the common threads that run throughout and repeat; the family dinners, nature walks, reading together at bedtime, Saturday morning pancakes…”
– Kim John Payne

I love this quote (via mamawatters) because it so perfectly says what I’ve always felt; that the happy little rituals of everyday life ultimately define it. It’s why we want to move to the countryside, why I won’t mind building a fire every day in winter, & why I’m so obsessive about Sundays.

Below is my go-to recipe for proper English crumpets – incredibly easy & made using ingredients you’ve probably got in the cupboard. They’re a good Sunday morning food as they require a bit of lazing around between steps to let the yeast do its work.

225g strong plain flour (aka white bread flour – cake flour won’t do), sifted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tblsp dried yeast
275ml milk
55ml water

1. Heat the milk & water together until warm – about the same temperature as your skin. Mix with the sugar & yeast in a jug and leave somewhere warm to foam up, for about 15 minutes.

2. Put the flour & salt in a bowl and make a small well in the centre. Pour the foamy yeast mixture into this well, and gradually mix together using a wooden spoon until you have a smooth batter. Cover with a clean tea towel and put back in the warm place (I always put it next to my kitchen radiator).

3. Laze for 45 minutes or so. Drink some tea. Listen to the radio.

4. Heat up a frying pan with a little butter over a medium heat. Grease the inside of a few large round cookie cutters or egg rings, and sit these in the pan to warm.
Ladle a dollop of mixture into each ring and gently help it spread to edges. Cook for about 5 minutes then carefully lift off the ring with a fork and flip the crumpet over to cook on the other side for a couple of minutes.

5. It’s best to cook them all in one go while the yeast is still doing its thing, but extras can be reheated in the toaster & stored in the freezer.

6. That’s it! Serve hot with butter, jam, or my personal favourite, a poached egg on top so the yolk leaks down through all the holes. Happy Sundaying (on a Thursday)!

Next up, cinnamon buns!